by Yumi Watanabe

and Mario Cresci

Do you remember when love struck you, when butterflies filled your gut and creepy goose pimples were appearing on your skin and when a wonderful wave of emotions swept over you?

This is the effect awaiting you in the installation Afterimage of Love by Yumi Watanabe.

1000 of flower petals are covering the walls of the gallery space. Artificial petals - made of overprinted and laminated photographies - of which every single piece represents an unique item. The artist produces these petals of "after image", using a process connecting analogue and digital photography. Referring to a classical image of love in movies, spreading petals everywhere, like in Sam Mendes´s „American Beauty“ i.e.,  Yumi Watanabe is tracing petals of memory, leftovers of love. This “afterimage” is the origin of Yumi Watanabe’s relentless search for her memory from the past. They appear in fragments, in an instant flicker, but they never cease to accumulate like blossoming flowers. Fallen and scattered, they (the memories?) remain in ourselves and become our palette from which we rate our situation.

Researching and discussing the struggle against roles in history and memory, the dependency on the position of view and the personal interpretation, she provides for us a framework to understand oneself. The viewer is navigated by the artist toward the phenomena, in themselves, of haunting and herewith of the activation of memory. Art that engages with memory embodied in material and spatial conditions is examined beside works that reflect upon memory’s effects through time. Contextualizing the role of memory in visual theory and aesthetic politics, by Marcel Proust’s optics to Bernard Stiegler’s analysis of memory’s “industrialization”, this exhibition surveys the diversity of situations and registers in which contemporary artists explore memory as well.

Yumi Watanabe was born and educated in Japan. Nowadays she is a commuter between cultures and continents, splits her time between her home country Japan and her current main base Düsseldorf, and also in Mexico to produce her work. On the one hand she weaves diverse influences of philosophical and historical impacts and indicates a possibility of positive globalization, on the other hand she offers an opportunity to experience an art installation, to include it.

The presentation of Afterimage of Love gathers firstly an opening where the artist will be present, later a workshop for children on the 11th of March and a catalogue presentation at the finissage. The 11th of March is the 6th anniversary of the earthquake in Fukushima, which influenced not only the overthinking of nuclear energy, but also the fragility of human creature and the balance of life. Yumi Watanabe is one of the most interesting and complex thinking contemporary artists at the moment, in particular because she tries to combine and reflex typically influences with their affecting consequences.



Text Denise Parizek 2017

Interactions with Michelangelo’s “Pietà Rondanini”

Interactions with Michelangelo’s “Pietà Rondanini”

The meaning of this project stems from the deep desire to interact with the latest work of Michelangelo and from a reflection on the power of photography to transform things through the light. Activating something like a theater scene, I have enlightened the Pietà Rondanini and every movement of the light source changed my perception of the masterpiece. I felt that the act of illuminating revealed that finished-unfinished character typical in Michelangelo; a right choice to give visibility to the process of hybridization between form, matter and light. In the spirit of the continuous, unceasing experimentation belonging to Michelangelo, from the 3D model of the statue I have developed a video and picked a few frames – a work in the work - which through the light, the rotational movement, approaching and departing, generate a dialogue between the statue and another dimension, immersing the work in a sort of starry “hyperspace”. An ideal temporal crossing: a “simultaneous time” where what is before and what is after are together. The idea, focused at a first glance on the greatness of Michelangelo’s latest masterpiece, had a further turn in connection with the daily drama of the diaspora of a multitude of people escaping war and famine. The word AUXILIUM, which I drew with an unreal light over eight images, symbolically transfers this immense pain on the figure of the Mother who with infinite compassion embraces everything.

The title In aliam figuram mutare finds finally its sense in the images of human figures wrapped by thermal rescue blankets, through which I rebuilt the plasticity of Michelangelo's sculpture, of those volumes that I had dissolved with the light in the initial images of the project. It is not only a restitution of form, but a transfer of meaning, a movement, a translation, beyond the moment of the representation.



Mario Cresci